The full United States Senate just overwhelmingly passed a farm bill that includes a provision to legalize hemp.
The Senate voted 86 to 11 today to give approval to a farm bill which includes a provision to legalize industrial hemp across the United States. Championed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), the proposal would end a decades-long prohibition on a plant that congressional research shows can be used to make over 25,000 various products.
The same research shows that the U.S. imports over half a billion dollars each year in hemp products, yet retains a law that makes it illegal for farmers to grow it.
During a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell said that “Consumers across America buy hundreds of millions in retail products every year that contain hemp. But due to outdated federal regulations that do not sufficiently distinguish this industrial crop from its illicit cousin, American farmers have been mostly unable to meet that demand themselves.” McConnels says that this has “left consumers with little choice but to buy imported hemp products from foreign-produced hemp.”
The farm bill must now be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to President Donald Trump.